Tuesday, December 12, 2017


CHANUKAH 2017 will be celebrated December 12-20.

For your edification, below is a primer for Chanukah provided by Rabbi Shraga Simmons:

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, and lasts for eight days. On the secular calendar, Chanukah generally falls out in December.

This primer will explore:

(1) A Bit of History
(2) Lighting Instructions
(3) Other Customs

The Hebrew word Chanukah means "dedication." In the 2nd century BCE, during the time of the Second Holy Temple, the Syrian-Greek regime of Antiochus sought to pull Jews away from Judaism, with the hopes of assimilating them into Greek culture. Antiochus outlawed Jewish observance ― including circumcision, Shabbat, and Torah study ― under penalty of death. As well, many Jews ― called Hellenists ― began to assimilate into Greek culture, taking on Greek names and marrying non-Jews. This began to decay the foundation of Jewish life and practice.

When the Greeks challenged the Jews to sacrifice a pig to a Greek god, a few courageous Jews took to the hills of Judea in open revolt against this threat to Jewish life. Led by Matitiyahu, and later his son Judah the Maccabee, this small band of pious Jews led guerrilla warfare against the Syrian-Greek army.

Antiochus sent thousands of well-armed troops to crush the rebellion, but after three years the Maccabees beat incredible odds and miraculously succeeded in driving the foreigners from their land. The victory was on the scale of Israel defeating the combined super-powers of today.

Jewish fighters entered Jerusalem and found the Holy Temple in shambles and desecrated with idols. The Maccabees cleansed the Temple and re-dedicated it on the 25th of Kislev. When it came time to re-light the Menorah, they searched the entire Temple, but found only one jar of pure oil bearing the seal of the High Priest. The group of believers lit the Menorah anyway and were rewarded with a miracle: That small jar of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply of oil could be brought.

From then on, Jews have observed a holiday for eight days, in honor of this historic victory and the miracle of the oil. To publicize the Chanukah miracle, Jews add the special Hallel praises to the Shacharit service, and light a menorah during the eight nights of Chanukah.

In Ashkenazi tradition, each person lights his own menorah. Sefardi tradition has just one menorah per family.

To publicize which night of Chanukah it is, all eight candles on the menorah should be at the same height ― and preferably in a straight line. Otherwise, the candles may not be easily distinguishable and may appear like a big torch.

In addition to the eight main lights, the menorah has an extra helper candle called the "Shamash." As we are forbidden to use the Chanukah lights for any purpose other than "viewing," any benefit is as if it's coming from the Shamash.

Since the Shamash does not count as one of the eight regular lights, your menorah should have the Shamash set apart in some way ― either placed higher than the other candles, or off to the side.

The most important thing is that that your candles must burn for at least 30 minutes after nightfall. (Those famous colored candles barely qualify!) Many Jewish bookstores sell longer colored candles.

Actually, it is even better to use olive oil, since the miracle of the Maccabees occurred with olive oil. Glass cups containing oil can be placed in the candle holders of any standard menorah. Many Jewish bookstores even sell kits of pre-measured oil in disposable cups.

To best publicize the miracle, the menorah is ideally lit outside the doorway of your house, on the left side when entering. (The mezuzah is on the right side; in this way you are "surrounded by mitzvot.") In Israel, many people light outside in special glass boxes built for a menorah.

If this is not practical, the menorah should be lit in a window facing the public thoroughfare.

Someone who lives on an upper floor should light in a window. If for some reason the menorah cannot be lit by a window, it may be lit inside the house on a table; this at least fulfills the mitzvah of "publicizing the miracle" for the members of the household.

Since the mitzvah occurs at the actual moment of lighting, moving the menorah to a proper place after lighting does not fulfill the mitzvah.

The preferable time to light the menorah is at nightfall. It is best to light in the presence of many people, which maximizes the mitzvah of "publicizing the miracle" and adds to the family atmosphere. The menorah can still be lit (with the blessings) late into the night, as long as people are still awake.

The menorah should remain lit for at least 30 minutes after nightfall, during which time no use should be made of its light.

On Friday afternoon, the menorah should be lit 18 minutes before sundown. And since the menorah needs to burn for 30 minutes into the night, the candles used on Friday need to be bigger than the regular "colored candles" (which typically don't burn longer than a half-hour).


On the first night, place one candle at the far right, as you face the menorah. This applies whether the menorah is placed next to a doorway or by a window.

Another candle is placed for the Shamash (taller helper candle) which is used to light the others. It is not counted as one of the candles.

First light the Shamash, then recite the blessings, and then use the Shamash to light the Chanukah candle.

On the second night, place two candles in the two far-right positions ― and use the Shamash to light the left one first.

The third night, place three candles in the three far-right positions ― and use the Shamash to light them in order, from left to right.

Follow this same procedure each night of Chanukah... until all the lights are kindled and glowing brightly!

Watch animation of how to light the Menorah

Listen to the blessings for lighting the Menorah

Print formatted text of this blessing

The first two blessings are said with the Shamash already lit, but immediately prior to lighting the Chanukah candles.

Baruch ata Ado-noi Elo-heinu melech ha-olam, Asher kid-shanu bi-mitzvo-sav, Vi-tzee-vanu li-had-leek ner shel Chanukah.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Baruch ata Ado-noi Elo-heinu melech ha-olam, Shi-asa nee-seem la-avo-seinu, Baya-meem ha-haim baz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe, Who made miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.

This blessing is said on the first night only.
Baruch ata Ado-noi Elo-heinu melech ha-olam, Sheh-he-che-yanu vi-kee-yimanu Vi-hee-gee-yanu laz-man ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
The following paragraph is said each night, after the first light has been kindled:
Ha-nerot ha-lalu anach-nu mad-likin Al ha-nissim vi-al hanif-laot Al ha-tshu-ot vi-al ha-milchamot She-asita la'avo-teinu Ba-yamim ha-heim, ba-zman ha-zeh Al ye-dey kohan-echa haki-doshim.
Vi-chol shmonat ye-mey Chanukah Ha-nerot ha-lalu kodesh heim, Ve-ein lanu reshut li-heesh-tamesh ba-hem Ela leer-otam bilvad Kedai le-hodot u-li-hallel li-shimcha Al ni-secha vi-al niflo-techa vi-al yeshua-techa.

After lighting the Chanukah menorah, families enjoy sitting in the glow, singing and recalling the miracles of yesterday and today. The first song traditionally sung after lighting the candles is Maoz Tzur (Rock of Ages). (click for audio and lyrics)

A number of other customs have developed, including:
•eating "oily" foods like fried potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), in commemoration of the miracle of the oil
•giving Chanukah gelt (coins) to children
•spinning the dreidel, a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side (sivivon in Hebrew)

What is the origin of the dreidel?

In times of persecution when Torah study was forbidden, Jewish children would learn anyway. When soldiers would investigate, the children would pull out a dreidel and pretend to be playing.

The letters on the dreidel are nun, gimmel, hey, shin ― the first letters of Nes Gadol Haya Sham – "A Great Miracle Happened There." (In Israel, the last letter is a Pey ― "Here.") One way to play dreidel is to see who can keep theirs spinning for the longest time. Or alternatively, to see how many dreidels you can get spinning simultaneously.

Another version of dreidel is where players use pennies, nuts, raisins, or chocolate coins as tokens or chips. Each player puts an equal share into the "pot." The first player takes a turn spinning the dreidel. When the dreidel stops, the letter facing up determines:
•Nun – nothing happens; the next player spins the dreidel
•Gimmel – the spinner takes the pot
•Hey – take half the pot
•Shin – add one to the pot

(Alternatively, you can play where everyone spins their own dreidel simultaneously. Anyone who gets Nun takes 2 from the pot; Gimmel takes 1 from the pot; Hey puts 1 into the pot; Shin gives 1 to the person on his/her right.)

On Chanukah we add "Al Ha'nisim" – an extra paragraph which describes the Chanukah miracle – to the Amidah prayer, and also to the Grace After Meals.


Monday, December 11, 2017


Phone conversation today:

Friend:  "I sent you a message on Facebook and never saw an answer."

I:  "I answered and told you I was forwarding your message to Judy."

Friend:  "I never got it;  hey, is that your wedding picture on Facebook?"

I:  "Yes;  why?"

Friend:  "You look like Karen Carpenter."

I:   "Well, I was thin then, but not anorexic."

Friend:  "Weren't we all?"

I:   "Which one, thin or anorexic?  In my fantasy life, I looked like Natalie Wood."


Sunday, December 10, 2017


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Emily Dickinson, born December 10, 1838.

See a delightful article from Sarah Lyall from The New York Times titled Alone At Emily Dickinson's Desk:

Saturday, December 9, 2017


 The following comes from a site called Interesting Amazing Facts.

Urine was used to to tan animal skins, so families 

would all pee in a pot and once a day the pot would 
be was taken and sold to a tannery, thus, if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor",  but worse 
than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot as they “didn’t have a pot to piss in”;  thus they were \the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and 

complain because the water temperature isn’t just 
how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
May, they still smelled pretty good by June.  However, since they were
starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body
odor, hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had
the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then
the women and finally the children.  Last of all the babies. By then the
water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it, hence the saying,
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood
underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats
and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it
became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the
roof, hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a
real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess
up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over
the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt floors, hence
the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get
slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to
help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until,
when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of
wood was placed in the entrance-way, hence, a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always
hung over the fire.  Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat
the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and
then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been

there for quite a while, hence the rhyme: "Peas porridge hot,
peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."  Sometimes they
could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came
over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth
that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to
share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter.  Food with high acid content
caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning
death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or
so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the
loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking
along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial..
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family
would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake
up, hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to
bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a
bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of
25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
they had been burying people alive, so they would tie a string on the wrist
of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and
tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night ("the
graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, "saved by the
bell "or was considered a "dead ringer." 

At some time in Europe men made a living by wearing a huge  cape and carrying 
a chamber pot.  A gentleman would walk up, pay the man a few pence, be engulfed 
by the cape for privacy, and then relieve himself in the pot. Mel Brooks played such
 a character, Le Garçon de Pisse or "piss boy", in his film History Of The World, Part 1.

Who said history couldn't be interesting?

Friday, December 8, 2017


When we moved into our current home, we could not afford to buy the dining room furniture I wanted, thus the middle of the room sat empty for more than a year, with only my grandmother's antiques: the drop-leaf table, "3-corner table", and "library table" situated against the walls. 

Any meals we had were eaten at the kitchen table. I wasn't about to serve food on my grandmother's antiques; besides, I had no chairs to go with them.

A brother-in-law of one of my brothers was "touring" the house and he said, "You should get a dining room set like ours." I asked, "Do you have cherry furniture?" He said, "No, we have oak." I said, "But the built-in hutch and buffet are cherry." He said, "But ours is really nice; it would look good in here." I said, "It probably is nice, but it wouldn't match our decor." "Well, why don't you just get cherry?",  he asked, I thought, rather disdainfully. I considered saying, "I haven't found exactly what I want.", but instead said, "I can't afford it."

From the look on his face you would have thought that I had just admitted to an ignominious secret. Then, I saw a look of pity from both him and his wife.

Asudden, I felt very liberated. Imagine, being able to tell the truth.

This was a defining moment in my life. When people are so rude to ask those kind of questions, I always answer, "I can't afford it!"

Thursday, December 7, 2017


This article was published in Sue's News in 2011:  


Yesterday, my brother Norman used the word "fetid" in conversation and my husband said he'd never heard the word before. Norman and I both laughed and said we'd heard it from our mother all of our lives. It is such a perfect word because it totally conveys what one is thinking, 

I think back to my mother's wondrous vocabulary. My brothers and I have a myriad of words which she used which cannot be found in any dictionary. Oftentimes we'll use a word and ask, "Is that a real word or one of Mother's?" For years, I thought the word "BOLLIX" was just one of my mother's words, but I was looking for another word in the dictionary and there was "bollix"--a perfectly good Anglo-Saxon word--I called Mother and exclaimed, "Mother, bollix is a real word!" My mother would always say we were "bollixed around from pillar to post" after a tornado destroyed our home.

Some of my mother's words which are NOT in any dictionary:

TOPLEY: When cooking, that's the amount of flour or other dry ingredient which is left when you grab an amount from the canister--it's the amount left in your cupped hand--when making pie crust it's the amount put on the bread board between rolling the crust.

BRIGGITY: Norman says it means smart-assed; I think it means that one is "too big for one's britches", but you get the meaning. Duke agrees with me.

HOIKY: My mother told the story of how someone spat on her sister's new purple coat and their mother wrote a letter to the school complaining about the person who'd committed the disgusting act; she wrote that it was a "hoiky gob".  EEEEEEOOOOOW! Oh, it certainly conveys the disgusting act! Norman said he used the phrase "hoiky gob" at work quite often.

CHATTAMATOOGY: That was a "bridge" or "riff" when Mother would be "scat" singing. Oftentimes followed with "PURTY YEA HOO"!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


On Sunday a friend used the word "briggity" and I pounced, "HOW do you spell that?" After recovering from the shock of my practically shrieking at her, she said that she didn't know how it was spelled, because she'd never seen it in print but that her mother had always used the word. I told her that my mother also used the word but I had never heard it used outside my family previously, and that I'd written a BLOG article about it.

When I told her how we spell it, she said that perhaps it had a "d" sound rather than the "t" sound we gave to it. I said, "I'll look up briggidy and briggedy, and other possible spellings."

I went to Google and typed in the words. None of those had any reference, but I typed in "definition of briggety"and voila, there it was! I should have done that the first time rather than Googling the individual words.

In contemplating writing this, I returned to my original article and I saw a comment that had been posted by a fellow BLOGGER named "Miracle Mommy" and she had also been trying to find out about the word and she happened on my article on Google Blogger.

I sent an e-mail to her to let her know where to find the information.

Briggity is a word used in Appalachia and can be found in the Dictionary Of American Regional English and it does mean "too big for one's britches".

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Viewing the Super Moon on Sunday, I was reminded about an elderly person who used the term "over the moon" and I commented that I had never heard it used previously.  He had spent time in England during World War II and in researching about the phrase I learned that it is chiefly of British origin and has been in usage for more than a hundred years.  I told him that he'd probably learned it in England.

The phrase has gained in popular usage in the past thirty years because it's been adopted by British football managers to describe their feelings after winning games.

Of course, I have heard it used numerous times to describe something that makes one extremely happy.  I called a friend and said that I was "over the moon" about the Super Moon and enjoyed a conversation about the phrase.

My friend said that she had heard Prince Harry say that his mother would have been "over the moon" about his engagement. 

Monday, December 4, 2017


As I was decorating for Christmas, I was rearranging books in the library to make room for my "Elvis Shrine" (see photos);  tucked inside my Latin II book, I found something I'd obviously written when I was fifteen years old.  It was a draft for a contest I recalled that I had entered.  Evidently I worked on other interests while I was supposed to be doing schoolwork.

As an ardent fan of Elvis, I listened to a local radio station program where there would be contests with one of those "Be the third caller and you'll win the prize." gambits.

I was never able to win any of those, but several times, when one had to write something to submit to the program to be able to win, I won several times. The prizes were always the same:  2 tickets to the Fayette Theater.

Elvis' fourth movie King Creole had been released and several of my classmates had gone to Columbus to see it. Imagine--being able to go to the big city--to the Lowe's Theater to see THE KING.  Full of envy, I listened to every word as they described the movie. We--the less fortunate--would have to wait for what seemed like forever for the movie to be shown in Washington Court House and even then, I wondered how could I get the money--or a way--to go? Previously, my brother Gary and his wife had lived in town and I would go there and stay overnight and my sister-in-law and I would go to see the movies with the tickets I had won. By the time King Creole was released they'd already moved to the country.

The contest to win tickets for King Creole was announced and the contest required that one write a letter entitled "Dear Elvis" using the titles of Elvis' songs in the text. My submission was read on the air and afterwards I was teased mercilessly by my brothers and classmates about my silliness. My cousin's wife went with me to see the movie.

As I was looking at the draft, I noticed that I had the songs numbered; I didn't recall all the contest rules but it must have required a certain number of songs or number of words to be used. I cringed at what my 15-year-old self had written, but I showed it to my brother. He is usually caustic and sarcastic but he said, sincerely, "Aww, it's sweet; I never knew you were sweet." I answered, "I think it shows what a naif I was." He said, "It was probably every girl's fantasy to think she was Elvis' girlfriend." I am nine years older than my brother, and although he knows me better than nearly anyone else, of course he did not remember that naive 15-year-old as he was only 6 at the time. He said, "You were so competitive that you had to be the one who knew every damn song; so you haven't changed that much; hey, but paragraph five is pretty good."

The following was written by my 15-year-old self--it's even signed "Phyllis"--as I was known in school: (Elvis' songs are capitalized)

Dear Elvis:

In my imagination, I have YOUNG DREAMS that TOMORROW NIGHT you can put on your BLUE SUEDE SHOES and I can take the MYSTERY TRAIN down to NEW ORLEANS and we can go to the KING CREOLE night club, where we can have a HOT DOG, some TUTTI FRUTTI, and CRAWFISH, so LET'S HAVE A PARTY with MAYBELLINE, DANNY, and LONG TALL SALLY.

HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY if I had ONE NIGHT with you, I would be ALL SHOOK UP, but JUST BECAUSE I gave you a TEDDY BEAR, it doesn't mean I am ALMOST IN LOVE. There might be some TROUBLE because YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER, but THAT'S ALL RIGHT because I'm PLAYING FOR KEEPS.



If you're worried about being a POOR BOY, I don't need any MONEY HONEY, I just want TRUE LOVE! You know, IT'S BEEN SO LONG, DARLING; this seems like a ONE-SIDED LOVE AFFAIR unless you LOVE ME TENDER. If you said WON'T YOU WEAR MY RING AROUND YOUR NECK, that's when MY WISH CAME TRUE. I said THAT'S ALL RIGHT because I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU!

This might be TOO MUCH, but THIS TIME I'll be THE FIRST IN LINE, but DON'T have a HEART OF STONE because you are the KEEPER OF THE KEY and I'M COUNTING ON YOU.





ALWAYS your biggest fan,


Sunday, December 3, 2017


Sunday night will provide us with a Super Moon.  A Super Moon typically appears to be 30% brighter and larger than normal because that is when the moon makes its approach closest to the Earth.

The last full moon of the year is known as a Super Frost Moon, Cold Moon, or Moon Before Yule.

The best time for viewing is as it rises just after sunset.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


In the 2,510 articles I have written since beginning Sue's News in 2010, I have written about anti-Semitism numerous times.  I am particularly dismayed by the times I have heard anti-Semitic remarks from people in my own community.  When I expressed that chagrin to my brother, he said that he didn't know why I would be surprised.  I countered with, "How many Jews do you think they have even met?"  He said, "You seem to be under the impression that their ignorance has some logic."

Today, after a medical procedure, a nurse and I were chatting and she told me that her daughter had an automobile accident and that she had damaged some guardrails;  she related that the insurance agent had told her not to pay outright to the county but to send the bill to the insurance company to negotiate.   Then she actually said, "I suppose he could Jew 'em down."  Taken aback, I had a sudden gasp of breath and said, "You didn't just say that, did you?"    Here's the following exchange between her and me:

She said, "I've always used that term."  
I asked, "You don't realize it's offensive?"
She said, "My parents always said it."
I answered, "Then they were always offensive too."
Defensively, she said, "Well, maybe in this day and age it is."
I replied, "It was offensive in ANY day and age."

Then, she gave gave the classic non-apology:  "I'm sorry if you were offended."  I ignored the lack of a true apology.

I don't know which is more offensive:  her anti-Semitism or the fact that she didn't realize that her lack of a true apology is beyond her comprehension to understand.  Should I bother explaining to her that she was trying to place the burden on me?  

Instead, I asked, "How many Jews do you know?"  She said she didn't actually know any.  I said, "In my entire life, I have never practiced any of the tactics you just ascribed to people of that particular ethnic group."   You might be thinking that was a lot for me to have said in that impromptu situation, but in fact, that response is a well-practiced comeback used by me in the many times I have heard that particular slur and stereotype.

As I was leaving, she said, "Once again, I want to say I'm sorry if you were offended."  I was seething, and I answered, "THAT is NOT an apology.  An apology would be that you say that YOU are sorry that YOU were offensive."  She said, "That's what I said!"  I answered, "NO, in your passive-aggressive behavior, you tried to shift the onus on me and said you were sorry IF I were offended."  She said she didn't see the difference.  I said, "Well, the difference is HUGE!"

I even uttered the word "huge" in the manner of the current resident of the White House who is guilty of that same kind of ignorance.

Friday, December 1, 2017


A Facebook friend posted the quote from Cicero today and I thought, "Oh, Cicero is still relevant."

There were only four students in the Latin III class and we had to choose which Latin poet to translate for the year.  Usually, students taking advanced Latin expected to pursue careers in the law, pharmacy, or linguistics.  I wonder what my motive was, other than having another credit.   I recall that I thought it highly amusing--and rebellious--if I were to choose Ovid, the ultimate purveyor of amorous intrigue, to translate. That choice was emphatically vetoed by Mrs. Craig.    Instead, I was stuck with the choices of Virgil or Cicero.  In retrospect, I am glad Mrs. Craig refused to allow my study of Ovid and consequently, I have had a lifelong love of Cicero.

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO is considered by most historians to be Rome's greatest politician.  Cicero was a Consul, philosopher, lawyer, politician, political theorist, orator, and constitutionalist.  As John Adams wrote:  "All ages have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher combined."  Although he was a political manipulator, Cicero was still an idealist and true patriot.  

When Mrs. Craig died, I used a Latin quote on the sympathy card accompanying the flowers I sent.  Mrs. Craig's daughter told me how much she appreciated it and she was sure that her mother would have enjoyed my remembering my Latin.

From Cicero:  "Brevis a natura nobis vita data est;  at memoria bene redditae vitae est sempterna." ("The life given to use by nature is short;  but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.")

Thursday, November 30, 2017


In an e-mail, my friend Mona Lisa used the word "immanent";  the context of the message made me know that she did not mean to use the words "imminent" or "eminent" but I thought it had to be an error, but how could I doubt her?  Why didn't I know "immanent"?  

Oh, Sue aren't you the one who says she learns something new every day.  File under "comeuppance"!

From Merriam Webster:

IMMANENT:    Adjective  
1.  Inherent, indwelling, spread throughout 
2.  Being within the limits of possible experience or knowledge.  Subjective:  taking place within the mind and having no effect outside of it

From Anthony Burgess:  "Beauty is not something imposed but something immanent."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


An acquaintance of mine, whom I have known since 2004, attended school with my youngest brother and she usually asks about him whenever I see her.  She is a loud, obnoxious person but I try to be civil to her.

Yesterday, for the fifth time since I've known her, she brought up this story: when she and my brother were in grade school they drew names for a Christmas exchange and my brother had her name. The limit for the exchange presents was $1.00  My brother's gift to her was a bottle of  Evening In Paris eau de toilette.  Each time she tells the story it is in great detail and she dramatically tells of her embarrassment and humiliation because of receiving "toilet water". She even said that she couldn't believe a parent would have allowed a child to give it.  Since the first time of hearing her tell the story, I have allowed her to prattle without comment, but wondered what her purpose was in telling the story if not to cause me embarrassment. As I believe that nobody can embarrass me except myself, her purpose is not successful. 

Two years ago we were attending an event and the woman sat down at our table without asking if we were expecting others to sit with us. [Did I already mention she's presumptuous?] During subsequent conversation, a friend at the table mentioned that the food there could not compete with my brother's cooking.  After learning that the brother mentioned was her former classmate, the woman interrupted and began telling her "toilet water" story. [Did I already mention she has bad manners?] A friend who was sitting next to me listened to the story and then commented, "Too bad you didn't keep that bottle; it's selling on E-Bay for $50.00!"  I doubt that she realized that she'd been put down. [Did I already mention that she's dense?] 

When we went through the buffet line the friend said they were going to sit at another table because the woman was, to use the friend's word, "insufferable".    I said to our friend, "Fifty dollars?  Really? It's selling for that much?" He laughed and said, "Well, maybe $10.00!" 

Last year, at another gathering, she brought up the story again. After her telling the story, another friend said, "It's too bad you didn't know about the strengths of fragrances or you would really have appreciated it." She looked dumbfounded and then asked what that meant and the friend explained that perfume had the greatest strength and next was eau de toilette with cologne being the weakest.  The acquaintance responded by saying that it was "toilet water" and the friend patiently explained that although "toilet water" was the literal translation, in French toilette didn't mean a commode.  [Did I already mention she's dumb?]  The friend continued, "I'll bet it had eau de toilette on the label."  I don't think she realized that she had been put down again.

When she told the story AGAIN last night another friend asked, "Did you write a thank-you card for such a nice present?"

With friends like these I don't even need to comment to her. 

Today, when I told my brother about the latest conversation he said,  "By the way, it was you who bought that Evening In Paris for me to give to her." I said, "Well, if she tells it again that will be my coup de grace  to tell her that!" He said, "You know that'll be the same as saying eau de toilettee to her!"

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


My brother and I enjoy the "medical examiners" and "coroners" on numerous television shows because they are usually wacky, creepy, offbeat, weird, and darkly humorous.  To my knowledge, it all began with Quincy who was not especially strange, but it now seems de riguer for all of Quincy's descendants to be quirky.

What kind of person would choose a career dealing with naked, lifeless bodies?

Our favorites television coroners:

Kurt Fuller as Dr. Woody Strode on Psych. (It's practically enough that he's named Woody Strode).
Jane Curtin as Dr. Joanne Webster on Unforgettable
David McCallum as Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS
Tamara Tunie as Dr. Melinda Warner on Law and Order SVU
Khandi Alexander as Dr. Alex Woods on CSI Miami
Michelle Forbes as Dr. Julianna Cox on Homicide:  Life On The Street
Elizabeth Rogers as Dr. Leslie Hendrix on Law And Order
Dana Delaney as Dr. Megan Hunt on Body of Proof
Jeri Ryan as Dr. Kate Murphy on Body Of Proof  (hit the jackpot with two on the same show)
Robert David Hall as Doc Robbins on CSI
Robert Joy as Dr. Sid Hammerback on CSI New York

I didn't think any of these could be topped until I watched Longmire, which we binge-watched from Netflix.   The coroner, Dr. Bloomfield, is played by Kenneth Choi. The character is described on the website as being "half-Japanese and half-Jewish" and "ruggedly handsome"; I believe that the name Choi is either Chinese or Korean, but of course that would not prevent his playing a half-Japanese person. The character chews tobacco and is constantly spitting tobacco juice into a cup, just like real tobacco-chewers.

I asked, "Is that expectorating kosher?"  My brother quipped, "As long as it doesn't contain MSG." Oh, cross-ethnic humor is so difficult to translate.  My favorite cross-ethnic jokes are:

SAMMY DAVIS: The only Jew with Sickle-Cell Anemia.
SAMMY DAVIS: The only black with Tay-Sachs Disease.

Monday, November 27, 2017


This parable is worth sharing. 

Have you ever seen a baby porcupine? I would pass it along just to show the pictures of the baby porcupine!



It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold that year. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others. This way they were able to survive. 

Moral of the story: the best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

The real moral of the story: LEARN TO LIVE WITH THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Today is NATIONAL COOKIE DAY.  I'll be making preparations to make cookies for the Fayette County Historical Society's Annual Cookie Sale  The sale will be held on December 2 at the Fayette County Museum.  Come support the fundraiser and enjoy baked goods from numerous Fayette County bakers.

When I was thirteen, my cousin's wife gave me my first cookbook which was Betty Crocker's Cooky Book.   I often wondered about the spelling--cooky--rather than cookie.  

That summer I made every cookie from the recipes in the book, including unusual ones such as "jumbles" and "hermits" but the favorite one enjoyed by my discerning family  was snickerdoodles.  In the intervening years I made them so often they became known as "Suzydoodles",  my first "signature" dish!


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups Gold Medal all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cream together 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, and Crisco.  Add eggs, one at a time, and mix.  Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt together and add to the sugar, butter, and Crisco mixture.  Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating well.  Place the  balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes until done.  Remove to wire rack.  


Saturday, November 25, 2017


Do I really believe the John Donne Meditation I have quoted so self-righteously since high school?  Obviously not, as a recent death does not "diminish" me. My own hypocrisy is slapping me in the face, but I cannot think of a single redeeming quality the deceased had.

When I die, I want somebody to care that I died.  A person does need to live his/her life in a manner so that, at least somebody cares.



PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The church is Catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another. As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness. There was a contention as far as a suit (in which both piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled), which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.

Friday, November 24, 2017


From The Urban Dictionary:

                                  THANKSGIVING TETRIS

The annual act of rearranging your refrigerator in order to accommodate all of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Girlfriend: "Ugh, the fridge is completely full of our regular food. I don't know how we're ever going to cram all of these leftovers in here."

Boyfriend: "Looks like it's time for a round of Thanksgiving Tetris!  Here, take this milk carton and hand me those yams." 

Reading this, I had no idea what "tetris" meant.  I yelled at Les, "Hey, do you know what TETRIS is?"  He answered, "It's some kind of old video game."

I said, "Oh, NOW I get it!"  Our refrigerator is full.  Boy, am I thankful for the extra refrigerator in the garage.

I seldom eat leftovers, but I actually look forward to leftovers from Thanksgiving.  I have an extraordinary amount of leftover turkey this year because I bought a small turkey to boil to make broth for the noodles (turkey was cheaper than chicken).  Les sliced off the breast to save for another dinner.

I'll make turkey carcass soup and our all-time favorite:  turkey croquettes.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


It's been fifty-four years since the death of President Kennedy and I still mourn for what might have been.  

See my bittersweet article below from Sue's News from 2010:

                   NOT MEETING JFK 

The only time I ever skipped school was in 1960, to go to London, Ohio, as Senator John F. Kennedy was supposed to be in a motorcade on his way to Columbus.

When we got there the motorcade had already passed. Whoever heard of a political event being ahead of schedule? When I returned to school, all was forgiven because Mr. Kelley was a Democrat and he excused me.

Watching the results of the election, President Kennedy was quoted as saying, "Ohio--where I get the warmest welcome--and the fewest votes." I was passionate about the election and spent every moment I could "campaigning" for JFK. There is no way to ever capture the passion felt of young love, or young politics. 

One of the saddest realizations--and a defining moment in my life--was discovering all of the anti-Catholic sentiment in my county. My best friend and I would go around the county with her mother, gathering up all of the anti-Catholic literature we could find and destroying it. At that time, there were phone booths on nearly every corner in Washington C.H. and there were always pamphlets left there. They were also all around at Downtown Drug and Pensyl's and all other businesses of the John Birch Society followers. I was so naive that I asked Mr. Pensyl if he knew who had left those disgraceful pamphlets. He told me to leave the store. My friend's mother quit going to Dr. Binzel when she saw those flyers there. In the remainder of the time that Pensyl's and Downtown Drug were there, I never again entered the buildings. That is the main reason that we started shopping out of town. My friend has kept one of those vicious pamphlets framed on her wall with the note, "LEST WE FORGET!"

At a class reunion, two of my classmates and I were discussing JFK and how important he was in our lives. Then something peculiar occurred--everybody there said how they had been for Senator Kennedy--but I knew better because Mr. Kelley had conducted a mock election in our Government class. I spoke up and said, "I remember the mock election and there were only FOUR votes for Kennedy and the rest were for Nixon." Mike laughed and told all of them that it was true. I then proceeded to tell WHO in our class had voted for Kennedy: Mike, Bob, Don, and myself. I took out my collection of senior photos and inscribed on the back of the pictures of Mike, Bob, and Don were references to our being Democrats. 

As my brother Norman said, "I can never find anybody NOW who admits he/she voted for Nixon!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I have been a fan of figure skating since I was a child.   My earliest memory of skating is of  seeing Tenley Albright winning the 1956 Olympics gold medal..  Although I like pairs and ice dancing, the male and female singles events are my favorites.  Seeing the American women, has always given the most thrilling victories.  I vividly recall Tenley Albright, Carol Heiss, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Kristi Yamiguchi, Tara Lipinski, and Sara Hughes winning the gold medals. 

I have Peggy Fleming and Kristi Yamiguchi Christmas ornaments adorning the sports section of my Christmas tree (yes, I have a sports section on the tree!), alongside Mohammed Ali, Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, and Jeff Gordon.  I wonder why there aren't other ornaments available of the other skating stars, particularly Dorothy Hamill, because, as I recall, she was extremely popular, having a hairdo and skating term ("Hamill camel") named for her.

Although I have never donned a pair of skates, I know skating moves when I see them executed.  I especially like the ones named for people:  Lutz, Axel, Camel, Ina Bauer, Salchow, Walley, Boitano, and Biellmann.   Many moves are ballet terms such as arabesque.  I love to see twizzles, quads, laybacks, cantilevers, and hydroblading executed.  I have seen few back flips performed since the heyday of Scott Hamilton. 

Before the current scoring system I could be quite accurate in judging 0 to 6. The current judging system is probably fairer, less subjective, and more technical, but not as thrilling as seeing "all sixes" as in the old days.   
One of my favorite skaters was Nancy Kwan and one of the most beautiful performances I ever saw was of her skating in an exhibition after the Olympics.  Although she did not win the gold that year, she wore a gold outfit and skated to a recording of Fields Of Gold by Eva Cassidy.  See Nancy's performance and listen to Eva.

Monday, November 20, 2017


My favorite tree--the ginkgo--has shed its leaves and the yard is a field of gold.  Looking out the window, I began singing Fields of Gold, substituting "ginkgo" rather than Sting's intended "barley".

My brother said, "You know, lying in the golden barley sounds much more entrancing rather than lying in the ginkgo."  I answered, "The ginkgo would smell so much better."  He wondered, "Where would you find a field of barley to check?"

I realized that I knew little about barley, other than it is very healthful and I like it in soup.  After reading several sites about barley, I plan to add more barley dishes to our menus, but definitely not lie in it.

Listen to Sting:

"Will you stay with me, will you be my love?
Among the fields of barley?
We'll fight the sun in his jealous sky,
As we lie in fields of gold."

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Recently, on a Columbus weather report, the meteorologist described graupel as "the wintry precipitation term you've never heard of" and told that it is also known as "soft hail" and "snow pellets".

Although I have seen graupel, it is indeed a new word for me. The National Weather Service (see chart below) defines graupel as "small pellets of ice created when super-cooled water droplets coat (or rime), a snowflake".  Graupel pellets are cloudy or white, not clear like sleet.


Saturday, November 18, 2017


Mentioning the movie Breaking Away in the Eenie Foods article, I recalled the following article from Sue's News in 2010:

                                   BREAKING AWAY

On an airplane trip my seat mate and I began talking; we learned that we both loved movies.

He asked if I had seen the movie Breaking Away and I answered that it was on my Top Ten List for the year.  He asked if I remembered the scene with the bicycle following behind a semi.  I answered, "You mean the Peterbilt truck?" He asked, "You noticed WHAT kind of truck?  I laughed and said, "I BUILD trucks!" He asked, "Did you notice WHAT kind of bicycle?" I said, "I thought it was an Italian one." He laughed and said, "I DESIGNED that bicycle!" He also told me that he was a technical adviser on the movie. I told him that I'd always loved the movie's tag line: "Somewhere between growing up and settling down.".

If you have never watched the movie, it is worth renting or you can borrow it from me. It's a coming-of-age story set in Bloomington, Indiana, where the local kids, called the "Cutters" (because of the limestone quarries there), are in competition with the Indiana University bicycling team in a bicycle race called the Little 500.  The hero, Dave, is completely enamored of the Italian bicycle racing team and pretends he's Italian. In rankings of "sports movies" this gem is always ranked in the Top 10.

My fellow passenger and I discussed the various "continuity" problems we had noticed in the movie and he and I became very competitive in naming them:

MINE: The scene where Dave is drafting the truck, he passes fields of corn at least 6' tall; as the Little 500 is held in early spring, it's doubtful the corn in Indiana would've been that tall.

HIS: In the Little 500 race the bicycles are single-speed with a coaster brake and small gear wheel on the rear hub. In close-ups the upper and lower halves of the chain are parallel.

MINE: A microphone was visible when Dave was talking to his parents in the dining room.

HIS: When Dave was drafting behind the semi, his bike is on the small chain-ring and he is traveling at more than 50 mph. An earlier shot shows him in the large chain-ring behind the semi.

MINE: After falling from his bike, Dave's shirt is dirty, but when he finishes minutes later, it is clean.

HIS: When passing the semi, the entire crew is reflected in the truck's bumper.

MINE: After Dave shaves his legs, he is at the quarry later with hairy legs.

HIS: When Dave first collides with another bike during the race, he has blood and dirt on his leg; when he gets into the pit area there's no dirt or blood on his leg.

I told him that since he had designed the bicycle, he had a "TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE" over me.

We then repeated some of our favorite lines from the movie:

MINE: When Dave's mother serves zucchini and his dad said he didn't want any "Eenie" food. She said she got it at the A and P and he said "I know Eenie food when I hear it; zucchini, linguine, fettuccine. I want American food like French fries."

HIS: When Cyril asked Dave if he was really going to shave his legs and Dave said "Certo; all the Italians do it." and Mike answered that the Italian women didn't shave theirs.

MINE: When Dave's dad says, "I don't care if the second coming's coming!"

MINE: When Dave genuflects his mother said, "Dave, this doesn't mean you're turning Catholic, does it?"

He said I had the "TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE" over him on dialogue.

Friday, November 17, 2017


In yesterday's article I referenced that I had 14 boxes of different pasta in my cupboard.

The following is from Sue's News 2010:


When I was telling Agnes, a fellow Water Aerobics member, that I wanted orecchiette but could not find any locally, she told me that she had some at home and she would bring it to me.  At the next class, she gave me an unopened package of orecchiette.   Agnes is of Italian descent and she told me that orecchiette means "little ears" in Italian.

I told Agnes that I had quite a number of different  pastas in my cupboard and I counted them:  spaghetti; macaroni, farfalle, penne rigate, rigatoni, mostaccioli, fettuccine, canneloni, rotini, rainbow rotini, trucioli, ditalini, pasta rings, and stars.  

She asked why I had so many and I told her I make a pasta dish once a week because cooked tomatoes are heart-healthy products and although all the pastas made from semolina, the taste is different because of the absorbency of the different shapes of the different pastas. 

I realized that I have all those pastas because I could remember my mother telling, how, during the Depression, she had gotten some macaroni and she had to pick out the "weevils" to be able to cook it and that's all that she and my brother Bode had to eat for the day.  I oftentimes say that although I hadn't actually lived during the Depression, I felt as if I did because I heard about it every day.

I do tend to go overboard;  Les will make a list of what NOT to buy until we have room for it.  When I brought the orecchiette home, he wailed, "ENOUGH ALREADY;  we have enough pasta for 10 years!"

Thursday, November 16, 2017


A client said that he'd had a delicious meal the previous evening and that there were leftovers in the refrigerator and he would like to have the same for lunch. I asked what it was and he said, "It was kinda like spaghetti, only thinner; something with Alfredo sauce." 

I asked, "Angel hair?" He answered, "No, that's not it!"

I continued, "Spaghettini, Spaghettoni?" He answered, "No, it's not a spaghetti name, but I'll know it if you say it." I said, "Canalini, Fedelini, Bucetini, Cappelini." 

He said, "No, that's not it!" I kept guessing: "Bigoli, Vermicelli, Bavette." He replied, "No, that's not it."

Finally, I said, "I'll go look in the fridge!" 

I went to his refrigerator. It was LINGUINE! I said, "Oh, that's flat like trenette and fettuccine, NOT like spaghetti." He asked, "How do you know so many pastas?" I said, "Well, I have 14 different boxes of pasta in my pantry with different shapes and sizes." He said, "You know how many boxes you have?", he asked, with a note of disbelief.  I told him I had counted them recently because of another conversation about pasta.

I giggled to myself, remembering a scene from one of my favorite movies Breaking Away:

The movie centers around a group of friends who enter a bicycle race in Bloomington, Indiana, and one of the boys is obsessed with everything Italian and his mother accommodates him by cooking Italian meals. His father reacts with this marvelous speech:

"I know I-tey food when I hear it; it's all them eenie foods--zucchini, linguine and fettuccine. I want some American food, dammit, I want French fries."

As we fix pasta at least once a week, Les or I will invariably enact the following shtick:  one will mention "eenie food" and the other will say, "I want American food.....". 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


From The Huffington Post:

In recent weeks, scores of men and women have
come forward with stories of facts of sexual violence
perpetrated by prominent people.  Allegations against
Harvey Weinstein opened the 
floodgates; now actor Kevin Spacey, comedian
Louis C.K., Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore
and others have also now joined that ignominious list.
On Saturday, Roy Moore defended himself against
allegations of sexual misconduct by ― surprise,
surprise ―attacking his victim. In defense of himself, 
he said, “To think that grown women would wait
 40 years... to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable.”

See complete article below:


Roy Moore: "To think that grown women would wait 40 years... to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable"
Twitter Ads info and privacyBut actually, waiting decades to report is not at all
I, like many victims, took decades to find the courage to
name my abuser and seek justice for the crimes he 
committed when I was a child. Many victims either never
disclose or wait years to share their stories.
Perpetrators and their allies undermine victims’ credibility
and impugn their character.

If you own a TV, read the newspaper, or have an Internet
connection, you have seen how victims are portrayed in
the media when they come forward.The community often
rallies around the perpetrator and pillories the victim.

If you have ever interacted with a victim or supporters of 
an alleged perpetrator, you have probably witnessed this.
Predators groom individuals and entire communities so 
that they gain the trust of victims and so that they have
convenient “good guy” cover in place in case they are 

Victims face a barrage of questions when they 
come forward instead of the sympathy and support they 
need. Why didn’t you speak out sooner? Why didn’t you 
try to stop the attacks? These questions add to the 
trauma and horror of sexual violence. 

Victims sometimes have kept in touch with their 
perpetrators. Maybe they continued dating, working 
together, or interacting politely at family events. 
Continued contact with a perpetrator is also very 
common. Often 
this factor alone keeps victims trapped in silence.
Not reporting allows a victim to maintain the fantasy
that people in positions of responsibility would be
helpful if he or she did report. 

Reporting often crushes that fantasy when responsible 
people protect themselves and the perpetrator instead. 
lot of victims prefer you create an alternate reality, 
one in which the abuse didn’t happen. 

If a victim is hiding  behind a facade of success, 
competence, and achievement, admitting past abuse 
can shatter that facade. Being the victim of sexual
violence is highly stigmatized. No high-functioning 
person wants to be viewed as damaged. Victims find
it easier to pretend to be normal and live a lie than 
face the horror of sexual abuse and trauma.Victims 
often fear that coming forward will result in the loss 
of  employment, support network, housing, 
reputation,and even their lives. 

Victims involved in athletics and extra-curricular 
activities may fear loss of playing time and access to
important opportunities.  

Some victims simply don’t remember. I had suppressed 
the memories of my abuse and still do not have linear
memories of it. In the case of child sexual abuse (and 
oftentimes abuse of adults), reporting can disrupt 
every relationship important to the victim. Family 
members and friends choose the easier narrative: that 
the victim is lying. Believing someone has lied is easier
than believing that a loved one has raped a child. 

Victims might not know who to tell. Do you tell a friend? 
A pastor? The police? Since sexual violence is 
shrouded in a code of silence, sometimes the 
impediment to timely reporting is that victims literally
do not know what to do. 

Some may not even realize initially they have been a 
victim of sexual violence in the first place.Some victims
are under the mistaken impression that you cannot 
report at all if you do not report immediately.Some 
victims tried to report and were told there was no 
recourse. In some cases, victims disclosed to allies of
the perpetrator who told them not to tell anyone else, 
further fortifying the prison of silence. Who would take 
the risk and report again after that? 

Victims may have been committed a crime or infraction 
of rules around the time of the crime. Underage victims
who have been drinking at a party, for example, could 
fear getting in trouble and decide it is not worth the 
risk of reporting the sexual assault.

Naming an act of sexual violence makes it real. 
Keeping silent is a way of protecting oneself.The victim 
feels indebted to the perpetrator. For example, if the
victim is an elite athlete, he or she may feel as if she
owes the coach his or her silence.

Child victims may have been under the  misguided 
impression that they were in a consensual 
relationship with a much older person. In this case, it
can take a long time to realize that the “relationship” 
was actuallya sexual crime.